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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Dining curbs need to be relaxed as no sign of epidemic rebound

Dining curbs need to be relaxed as no sign of epidemic rebound

The restaurant industry urges the government to loosen social distancing restrictions on catering accordingly with the first day of the relaxation of entry quarantine limits.
Five catering trade associations signed a letter to Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and health chief Lo Chung-mau on Sunday requesting a relaxation of social distance for dining.

The associations would like to raise the maximum head per table in restaurants to 12, lifting the restriction on restaurants' business hours and the headcount limits of people at banquets.

Speaking on a radio programme on Monday, Simon Wong Ka-wo, one of the signers and the president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, claimed the overall turnover during the Mid-Autumn Festival for restaurants has seen a significant fall from HK$400 million before the epidemic to HK$280 million now.

Wong showed his concerns that citizens would travel outside Hong Kong as the new "0+3" arrangement launches and further depresses the business of the local catering industry.

Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, a government advisor from the University of Hong Kong, believed that the city would see no rebound in the epidemic with the lift entry measures.

He added that the government could map out to launch the "0+0" entry format if the epidemic maintains stability after two to three weeks.

"Headcount restrictions for dining could also be relaxed accordingly," Hung claimed Monday.

The Covid-19 daily confirmed cases dropped to around 3,900 on Sunday, which Hung believed will further decrease to 1,000 to 2,000 in the following couple of days.

Former Hospital Authority chief executive Leung Pak-yin also said further ease of distancing measures is needed as soon as possible.

"The conservative isolation policy is no longer appropriate," he said in a post on his Facebook on Sunday, "a full relaxation should be granted to social distance and the catering industry."

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